Bureau of Business Research


Date of this Version



A Bureau of Business Research Report From the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


When the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Memorial Stadium is filled for Cornhusker home games (as it has been for an NCAA-record 268 consecutive times since 1962), millions of dollars of economic activity are generated through ticket sales, broadcast rights, and concession sales. This spending and attendance indicate that Cornhusker football provides a popular, high-quality product that creates a high level of consumer demand. Cornhusker football also creates a large ripple effect in the economies of Lincoln, Omaha, and elsewhere in the state of Nebraska as fans attending Husker games spend at restaurants, hotels, retail stores, gasoline service stations, and other businesses on their way to and from games.

But Memorial Stadium and the Husker football program are just the largest elements in the economic activity generated by the overall UNL athletic department. The department also generates revenue in other sports and expends millions of dollars each year in wages and salaries, benefits, purchases from businesses, and student tuition and housing—in addition to funding major capital construction projects, such as the expansion of Memorial Stadium, without using state tax dollar funding.

This report by UNL’s Bureau of Business Research estimates the economic impact from each of these sources during the 2004-2005 fiscal year. Note, however, that the report does not include the impact from fans who spend money in Lincoln on football game days, but do not attend the games. Key findings of the study are summarized below.